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Paperback Split Book

ISBN: 0375863419

ISBN13: 9780375863417

Split

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Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

A riveting portrait of life after abuse from an award-winning novelist. Sixteen-Year-Old Jace Witherspoon arrives at the doorstep of his estranged brother Christian with a re-landscaped face (courtesy of his father's fist), $3.84, and a secret. He tries to move on, going for new friends, a new school, and a new job, but all his changes can't make him forget what he left behind--his mother, who is still trapped with his dad, and his ex-girlfriend,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Great New Author!

In Swati Avasthi's debut novel, Split, Sixteen-year-old Jace Witherspoon just wants to be a normal teenager. He dreams of soccer games, girlfriends, and his love for photography that are not tainted by his past. Growing up with an abusive father, a passive mother and a brother who abandoned him when he needed him the most, Jace is afraid for his future. Finally standing up to his father, he escapes his past that he just can not leave behind and shows up on the doorstep of his estranged brother. New friends, a new school and a new job can not hide his abusive past and the secret he is hoping no one ever finds out. Will Jace escape his horrid past? Will he move on and find the family he always dreamed of? Or will he realize his past has become his future? Read Split by Swati Avasthi to find out for yourself. For me, Split was a story that no one ever wants to tell. The pain, abuse and heartbreak that Jace experiences pops from the pages of this truthful read. Written in first person, Jace is able to tell the readers what he is feeling and how he sees himself. The flashbacks to what Jace had to endure living in a home constantly at war will make even the strongest reader's heart break. I felt that Split was as honest as a work a fiction could be in feeling the pain of an abused child and now abusing teen. The voice of Jace is real of a teen boy going through what he went through. Never did I feel that this was written by an adult woman. It was true to the teenage male heart and the teenage male mind. Avasthi really got into her character of Jace and felt his heart and found his voice. If you are a victim of abuse or someone who has never experienced anything like what Jace went through in this book, you will relate to Avasthi's characters in some way and you will feel the need to protect them. Swati Avasthi completely succeeded with Split and I know she will continue to write great things in the future. Review originally posted on my blog Draw A Blank. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Random House Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Raw and Honest

When Jace Witherspoon was eleven, his older brother, Christian, ran away from home to escape the devastating abuse both he and his mother had suffered at the hands of their father, a well-respected Chicago judge who believed he was above the very law he swore to uphold. For the next five years, Jace and his mother bore his father's wrath alone, at times barely escaping fatal injuries -- until the day that Jace came home to find that his father had raped his mother -- again. Finally breaking, Jace takes a swing at his father, and a fight ensues that leaves Jace unconscious. When he finally wakes up on the kitchen floor, he is summarily kicked out by his father who tells him that if Jace ever returns, he will kill the boy's mother. As Jace is fleeing, his mother hands him him an envelope with some money and an address. It turns out that she's been secretly keeping in touch with her older son, and she urges Jace to go to him, promising to join them as soon as she can. With that promise in his heart and the money in his pocket, Jace begins the nineteen-hour drive to New Mexico to find the brother who left him behind. When he finally arrives, the reunion between the estranged brothers is fraught with tension and anxiety -- but Jace knows it's his last hope. SPLIT is a stunningly raw, heart-breaking and ultimately hopeful book about survival, grief, anger and acceptance. It's beautifully written in the first person perspective of Jace, and it's easy to fall in love with him and to experience both his victories and his defeats along with him. Jace's struggles are manifold: he struggles to understand why his brother never came back for him, why his mother has remained with his cruel father all these years, and why that father, who was supposed to protect and defend him, instead did the exact opposite. And, finally, in his own burgeoning manhood, Jace struggles to break the cycle of abuse. A gorgeous work that I would highly recommend to anyone.

Richie's Picks: SPLIT

"The envelope says 4B. Even though 4B is labeled MARSHALL, I press the button, and the buzz echoes in the tiny foyer. Answer. Be home and answer. "Outside, a FedEx truck roars, pauses, and roars again. Its white profile steals away, leaving only a gasp of gray exhaust. A shrunken man drags the door open and holds it for his shrunken wife. Before they even step over the threshold, they see me and stop. "I am quite the picture. The split lip isn't the only relandscaping my father has done. A purple mountain is rising on my jaw, and a red canyon cuts across my forehead. "They stare at me, and I suck in my lip, hiding what I can. "At the moment, a distorted voice comes through the speaker: 'Who is it?' "Can I really have this conversation over a speaker? Remember me? The brother you left behind? Well, I've caught up. Even in my imagination, I stop here. I leave out the rest. "'Um,' I say, 'FedEx.' "The couple unfreezes. The man grasps his wife's elbow, tugs her outside, shoves the door closed, and helps her hobble away. Great way to start my Albuquerque tenure; scaring the locals." Sixteen year-old Jace Witherspoon will be changing his last name to MARSHALL, and creating himself a new identity just like his big brother Christian did. Five years ago, toward the end of his high school years, Christian disappeared from home and school and Jace has not seen or heard from him since. At a young age, big brother Christian learned how to antagonize their father, a conservative Chicago judge, so that dad's attention would be deflected, causing him to beat up Christian instead of their mother. By time Christian left home, he had suffered a series of broken fingers, concussions, and even had some skin grafted on his arm where their dad had held it to an electric burner. On a regular basis, their father diffused any potential suspicion by moving the family to a different Chicago neighborhood. After Christian left, Jace had taken over that role of trying to protect their mom from the beatings. But now that Jace has finally broken, he hasn't snuck away like Christian. He's finally swung first before getting himself beaten to a pulp and literally thrown out of the house. Now that she has no protectors left, Jace is determined to somehow get their mom to follow him to Albuquerque before their dad kills her. Jace arrives at his big brother's house with little more than the envelope with Christian's address that Mom snuck him on his way out. But that is all what was. SPLIT is the story of the aftermath -- what will be -- the lasting impact upon these two brothers with rather different temperaments of growing up in that household. It is the tale of how Christian has in so many ways been avoiding his past and how -- five years later -- Jace's unexpected arrival at his doorstep threatens to unravel the new identity Christian has painstakingly built for himself. How does a guy have a "normal" relationship after growing up

Compelling Character Study

Swati Avasthi's SPLIT is that rare bird in YA literature: a classic character study that moves you to turn the pages as quickly as a plot book would. Here we have a 16-year-old kid named Jace who's on the run from a house of domestic violence. His dad, a respected judge by day, beats his wife silly, while his second punching bag -- Jace's older brother, Christian, has fled Chicago for New Mexico. When Jace tries to intercede for his mother one day, he, too, comes to blows against the monster. That's when he decides to split. That's when he reluctantly abandons his mother and follows his brother to New Mexico. Avasthi has done her homework. You will learn a lot about why women stay with abusive men and what happens to children of men who hit -- and it will all be shown through dialogue and actions, not lecturing or finger-wagging. Jace and Christian, each with his own demons, try to start a new life as roommates, but Christian has buried his demons under a cloak of silence and long, therapeutic runs across the New Mexican landscape, while Jace must deal with worse torments -- the sins of the father visited on his own persona. With an incredible temper, he has an additional memory to deal with. The memory of grabbing his Chicago girlfriend by the throat one night when he was angry. This intelligent book has universal appeal. Boys will enjoy the brothers angle and Jace's point of view as he tries to fit in to his new New Mexico high school and the varsity soccer team. Girls will enjoy the strong women in this tale. Christian's girlfriend, Mirriam, is a young teacher trying first to help Christian and then Jace to negotiate the rapids of their unique, yet similar psychological whitewaters. And, while stealing at a bookstore, Jace is captivated by the clerk, Dakota, who catches him in the act. He eventually lands a job there and finds Dakota equal to his wiles and intolerant of his nonsense. When all is said and done, you'll hate to say goodbye to this foursome. What's more, their efforts to rescue their mother back home while avoiding the beast (a father who hopes to track their location down) will both intrigue and horrify you. SPLIT teaches, entertains, and fascinates with its raw energies. Highly recommended.

Swati Avasthi is a name to remember in YA fiction

When his abusive father kicks him out for having the audacity to fight back, 16-year-old Jace Witherspoon has only one place to go--his older brother Christian in New Mexico. From Chicago to Albuquerque is not an easy trip, particularly if you have only recently gotten your license and don't have money, but Jace goes with the faith that his brother will take him in. You see, Christian ran away several years ago and has found a new life for himself. Having lived through their father's abuse, Christian knows exactly what Jace is going through. Unfortunately, two abused kids do not necessarily make the best roommates. They've got a lot of trauma, secrets, and bitterness to live through. They do have help from Christian's English teacher girlfriend, Mirriam, and Jace's co-worker, Dakota. Can they ever feel safe from their Dad? And can they get their Mom, who they both fear is going to be killed by their father away? "Split" is a compelling read from the first line to the breathless end. While the story's not a thriller per se, this relationship novel definitely had me on the edge of my seat all the way til three AM. This is an excellent book for older young adults and even adult readers will enjoy the finely-drawn characterization and heart-pounding pacing. Rebecca Kyle, January 2010
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